Colorado State jumped out to a 14-0 lead on two early turnovers by Wyoming and beat the Cowboys, 34-24, Thursday night in Fort Collins.

The Rams retain the Bronze Boot, the traveling trophy, as part of the Border War rivalry for the first time since 2015.

Wyoming (1-2) hurt itself with three turnovers and eight penalties for 83 yards.

Cowboy head coach Craig Bohl acknowledged that the early turnovers and penalties had a big impact on the game, while also giving credit to the way CSU played.

“Colorado State came out with a hard edge and they executed well,” said Bohl. “I think we did some things that were uncharacteristic of us. Typically, we’ve been ahead on the turnover margin and that didn’t occur tonight. And I thought we had way more penalties than we normally do. When you play a rivalry game you need to be on point and we weren’t. We are going to have to take a hard look at our preparation. We have to take ownership of our performance and have some hard conversations about where we’re at and how we respond.”

Colorado State (1-1) jumped out to a 17-0 lead early in the second quarter and never trailed. They played mainly error-free football and capitalized on UW miscues. Rams QB Patrick O’Brien threw for 255 yards and two touchdowns. He ran for another.

The Cowboys turned the ball over on their first two possessions. An interception return for a touchdown gave CSU a 7-0 lead. On the next drive, Levi Williams was sacked and fumbled. The Rams recovered, and on the next play, O’Brien found Trey McBride for a 29-yard TD pass. They led 14-0 less than six minutes into the game.

A field goal made it 17-0 just three minutes into the second quarter.

Wyoming had TD runs of 13-yards by Trey Smith and 2-yards by Xazavian Valladay in the period, but those were sandwiched around O’Brien’s TD run. It was 24-14 Rams at halftime.

The Cowboys pulled within 24-17 on John Hoyland’s 25-yard field goal in the third quarter, but Colorado State answered a minute later when O’Brien found McBride on a 38-yard TD pass. Levi Williams’ 3-yard touchdown run with 8:18 remaining pulled UW to within 31-24, but the Rams came back with a field goal that capped the scoring.

Williams threw for a career-high 321 yards, but he was sacked six times. Valladay ran for 147 yards and surpassed 2,000 yards rushing in his career. He became the 12th player in school history to accomplish that feat. Ayden Eberhardt had career-highs of seven receptions for 132 yards. Chad Muma led the UW defense with 17 total tackles. The Cowboys recorded three sacks and nine tackles for loss but failed to get a takeaway.

CSU had six sacks and 14 tackles for loss on defense. The Rams finished plus-3 in turnover margin, had two pass breakups and seven quarterback hurries.

Wyoming is scheduled to return home for their next game against Air Force on Saturday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m.

That game is now in jeopardy, as Air Force has canceled their game versus Army this weekend due to a rise in COVID cases within the football program.

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